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So, after a late night out Saturday (I actually didn't finally go to sleep until around 3 in the morning), I woke up and Rachael and I headed to the onsen (good job, Saya, on picking a hotel with a 露天風呂- rotenburo, even if I am now even more broke than the already broke I was) (Saya and Mari had to get ready for their dates; they skipped out on day 2) for a relaxing soak to get us ready for a day of concert hopping.
Then we met up with Steven and Nate and headed over to Magic Theater for
I've been hearing about MILKBAR for ages (I guess their friends with some other bands I like) and listening to them on youtube. They're kinda slow, kinda folksy, kinda rock, and, in a perhaps weird way, they remind me somewhat of the Radwimps.
Nate thought they were kind of boring, but I thought they were an absolutely perfect start to a day of concert hopping. The singer was incredibly passionate about what he was singing, to the point that, with his last song, crying out "君に涙、僕に涙” I actually almost started crying myself. I definitely wanted to go home and listen to the song a thousand times over again.
They've also got a stand-up bass, which adds a a sort-of unexpected and extremely pleasant level to their sound. Totally into them!
ROOKIEZ is PUNK'D
So then we headed downstairs to Ozon (how convenient that Ozon and Magic Theater are in the same building) for a band that I love and had previously seen several times.
They did a song for an anime that both Rachael and Steven love (Dararara or something - I've never heard of it), so they got super into it. Naturally. They have a sort-of rock/hip-hop/pop sound that really appeals to me, and they even have a couple songs (i.e. Eggmate of the Year) that are super pop-punky. <3
I also saw them at Sakae Spring 2011, and it was sort-of amazing to realize how big they've gotten. The crowd was at least 3 times larger than it was last year when I saw them at R.A.D. Probably even more than three times larger. Apparently, they also did a song for Bleach - apparently, you do an anime song, you get big.
Anyhow, as expected, they totally totally ROCKED!
Flip played after ROOKIEZ is PUNK'D at Ozon, and I kind of wanted to stick around and see them. But Steven and Rachael were hungry, so we went down to get them pizza, and when I sat down, my feet said thank you, so we just chilled for a bit.
And I'm glad we did chill for a bit, because in the end we headed over to Tight Rope a bit early to see Real Reach, and as such, we got to see the last few songs of The ROOTLESS, a band I'd never heard of before, who was AMAZING.
Pure rock, at least the songs we saw. And with a huge crowd - there were seriously so many people in Tight Rope that I'm surprised they let us in. (I've just discovered that they have a song in One Piece, which would explain the crowd)
While they are totally not visual kei, I found that they kind of had a bit of a visual kei sound (though I'm sure they would NOT like to hear that), and I was thus totally into it.
I love Real Reach. Like seriously love them. Totally American 90's style punk rock, done to Japanese perfection. They're one of the first Japanese bands I ever got into (along with Special Thanks, Stompin' Bird, Shachi, and Saboten), and I have literally been trying to find a way to get to see them ever since getting to Japan.
As they seem to be 名古屋(Nagoya)based, this really shouldn't have been hard, and yet. . .somehow literally every time they've played, I've not been able to go.
So after two years of trying, Sakae Spring 2012 was my first time, and it was even more awesome than I possibly could have expected. I actually even accidentally moshed and had a great time doing it (I don't think I've enjoyed moshing since I was, like, 21ish).
And when they were doing their towel song (every Japanese band seems to have a neck towel song), one of the dudes threw his neck towel in my direction, and it landed on my head, but I was so busy jumping around like a crazy person that I didn't notice until the person beside me stole it off my head.
THEY WERE SO AWESOME! Definitely the highlight of my day!
And they totally rocked. For serious. There is something about Japanese rockers doing what I think of as epitaph-style punk that's just really perfect. They totally brought back memories of listening to Hi-Standard in high school, of road trips to Lake Charles on the weekend to see whatever band the L.A.D.S had planned (I realize that probably means next to nothing to everyone but me, but just - brought back some mega awesome memories).
It seems rare for me to hear new music like that nowadays that I actually WANT to keep listening to (am I getting old?), but I totally wanted to keep listening to them. More and more and more.
After so much awesome rock, it was time for a bit of a rest, so we headed over to Blue Note for suzumoko, a slower, more folksy singer that I totally love. It was nice to sit down for a bit. We met up with Nate and Joanna there, and they both thought he was boring. Rachael thought he lacked stage presence. Not me.
Sure, he didn't really move a lot around the stage, and he didn't really have much to say, he just stood there singing and singing and singing. And somehow that just felt really intense and powerful to me (I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I associate opening your mouth really big when you sing with passion - as both suzumoko and milkbar singer opened their mouths enormously wide).
Anyhow, it was beautiful.
Knock Out Monkey
Then back to X-Hall for Knock Out Monkey, the last band of the day. I have an album of theirs that I love, so I was totally looking forward to seeing them live, and. . .let's just say that they rocked so hard that they actually managed to beat out Real Reach for best band of the day.
Lots of skanking, moshing, and head-banging. I can't decide if I can call them punk or just rock or what. I guess it doesn't matter - what matters is that they are awesome. Pure awesome. And pure awesome times were had.
All in all, a totally awesome two days, and I'm sort-of sad when I think that this is probably my last Sakae Spring. (I just have to keep reminding myself that next year I will be going to Insubordination Fest).
Two bands of the day I'm sad I missed: BIGMAMA and Howl Actions. I'd actually never heard of BIGMAMA before, but the singer of Glory Jackpot System recommended them, so I listened when I got home, and I totally LOVE. THey were at Quattro, though, and I really didn't think it would be possible to get in.
I could be wrong, but I think Howl Actions is from 岡崎 (Okazaki). Anyhow, they're really good, but they were playing at the same time as Real Reach, so that was out before it was in.
And this is extraordinarily long (I can't help it - I love music!), and I doubt anyone will read it all the way through. Except maybe me in the me future.